When i hired a basement company in St. Charles, MO, I saw the need to gain little knowledge on the variety of floor types so it will be easy for me to make choices. Even though it is okay to install virtually any type of flooring in your basement, even though hardwood must be avoided, homeowners have a range of other basement flooring options to choose from. Ceramic tile, vinyl, carpeting, cork, linoleum and laminate. All of these materials and some other less common ones, can be used successfully as basement flooring.
Basement flooring problems
Although you have a lot of options to choose from, the bad news is that basements are the most complicated part of a home to install flooring.
High humidity and moisture
Majority of basements are constructed using concrete and the weakness of concrete is porousness meaning it allows water vapor to enter the basement through the slab floor and foundation walls. Mostly in older homes, moisture can enter the basement also through cracks in the foundation. Moisture can make wood flooring to buckle or swell over time. Even worse, the flooring can develop fungus or mold before starting to rot and deteriorate. Tile with a built-in copies barrier is another option available for basement flooring tiles. If topped by carpeting or decorative vinyl squares, tiles have molded plastic bases which allows the concrete slab to breathe. Also, because the tiles are interlocking and modular, they can be removed, washed and then reinstalled after a flood.
If your basement is not level, you can use a cement that is self-leveling so as to create an even sub-floor.
Low ceiling heights
Basements don’t usually have extra headroom, Even if a couple of inches is added by the floor, this slight difference can make a difference in meeting or falling short of the ceiling height recommended by your local building codes.
Basement Flooring Selection
Just like other rooms in the home, the basement allows homeowners different flooring options. If you don’t like taking chances, you can go with ceramic tile which is usually unaffected by water vapor or even water. Ceramic tile also conserve inches in a basement that has low ceiling if it is installed directly over a concrete slab.
The bottom line is this: If any flooring that includes organic material is installed, it will be adversely affected by water and there is a risk of having to tear out the floor after a flood. And there is also the risk of the unseen buildup of mold beneath the flooring which a risk to the air quality of your home.